The UAE has turned to be the most optimistic nation for economic recovery and the consumers’ positive spending habits amid the challenging global crisis is considered as one of the key driving factors for the revival.
A recent study from management consulting firm McKinsey & Co found that about 74 percent of respondents from UAE are optimistic that the economy will rebound in two to three months and expand further than the pre-COVID period, with 24 percent unsure and only two percent pessimistic.
The report says that, even though the consumers’ upbeat attitude is rising, they also tend to spend less, looking for ways to save more, except on household essentials. “Consumers are more price-conscious, most consumers have also adopted new shopping behaviors such as grocery and restaurant deliveries, as they do not feel fully comfortable being in public spaces.”
The survey which was conducted between January and February further reveals that UAE consumers have consistently had faith in the economy. A majority of 68 percent believe that their personal finances will be affected for another four months, while 69 percent say routines will return to normal in the same time frame. Over 50 percent experienced a decline in income and savings, though they are spending more.
India and China were the only other countries that exhibited optimism higher than fifty percent at 62 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Other major nations the UAE has outperformed are the US, Germany, the UK, France and Japan.
The economic crisis created by the pandemic has urged the consumers to restructure their spending habits by adopting new practices along the way, like looking for ways to save money while shopping (49 percent) and changing to less-expensive products (46 percent).
During the pandemic, a huge number of UAE consumers relied on online shopping and many are planning to shift to this channel almost completely. Food deliveries have also witnessed a spike. If the consumers do choose to shop in-store, 27 percent say the most important factor is the cleanliness and sanitization of a place.
Meanwhile, in the homebody economy, more UAE consumers have increasingly used services including telemedicine, video chat and online streaming. And remote learning, which gained popularity during the pandemic, is still widely used but families expect it to end soon, the survey added.